Friday, February 29, 2008

What are the Odds?

See the little paper above? Let me tell you its story....

Sunday happens to regularly be the busiest day of the week for me. And usually the most exhausting as well. This past Sunday was no different, so when Monday morning rolled around, I was NOT ready to start another week. But unlike their mother, my kids were ready to roar (literally) a whole half hour earlier than our regular time to get up.

The alarm still hadn't gone off, and here my kids were already banging on my bedroom door as they pushed and shoved to determine who would actually get to turn the doorknob and thus most efficiently disturb my last few moments of peace. I think PC won the contest (and a few bonks from his sister) so they both came in fussing/yelling/non-stop chattering '... Mommy... is it morning time yet, Mommy?... Mommy, can we get out of bed now?... Mommy... can we eat breakfast?... can we have macaroni and cheese, Mommy?... Mo-'. You get the idea. Did I mention I was not ready to start another week? Make that another day.

Anyway, I sent the kids out of our room (this caused the volume levels to increase exponentially) and I slowly dragged myself out of bed and went through the motions of getting everything started. Sir's lunch, dress kids, feed kids, get dressed, feed Emma, wash kids up, eat, clear table. The whole time I was thinking about the to-do list that I've been putting off for so long and which has only been getting longer in the meantime. So, I decided I'd buckle down and drag myself through one of these projects and just hope that in the process I'd finally wake up and be more fit to handle the day.

Except, when I'd listed the most important items, they all seemed to be top priority and I couldn't decide which one to start with. So, I jotted each job down on a little piece of paper, and dumped them into a bucket. There were twelve jobs - then because I remembered Sir's last words as he kissed me goodbye that morning "Try and take it easy today ok?" I thought I should at least give 'taking it easy' half a chance and added "DO NOTHING TODAY" on it's own little paper to the bucket. I shook the bucket up to ensure that all the papers got properly mixed up, and then called Dolly to come pick a paper. She grabbed two and I told her to put one back. Then I unfolded the little paper to find she'd selected "DO NOTHING TODAY". I just laughed (probably much to Dolly's confusion since I definitely wasn't in a laughing mood up to that point). It just seemed so unreal, but it did really change the mood of the day. And so we did just about nothing!

We grabbed the sidewalk chalk and drew roads and houses and stores and swimming pools on the patio. Then while the kids drove cars on their newly drawn roads, I took a few loads of stuff that had been piling up in the kitchen out to the shed. Then I dragged out the trampoline, and let the kids bounce away for a bit while I went inside to pack a picnic lunch.

When the lunch was ready, I called the kids inside, and we packed Emma up, grabbed our jackets, the diaper bag and the picnic basket and loaded up the double stroller. First we hiked up to the corner store where we bought some 'pink juice' (Gatorade), a bag of Cheetos, and some chocolate bars and then we headed out to explore and see if we could find a picnic spot.

It was a mostly sunny day, and I just wanted to find a warm spot to spread the picnic blanket before it was time to head home and take our much needed naps. So, we started wandering back toward home and had gone about two blocks from the corner store when we came upon a little side path leading off from the sidewalk. We followed it a little ways, and to our amazement found the most absolutely perfect picnic spot!
Needless to say, I fell in love with this little secluded park-like area almost instantly. It was surrounded by the fenced backyards of a number of houses, so it seemed very private. The main street was within seeing distance, but it was far enough away that you didn't notice the heavy traffic at all. There was even a little forest, and some big rocks.

Dolly got to unpack our lunch (much to her excitement) and we enjoyed our macaroni and cheese and junk food in the warm sunshine with a clear blue sky overhead. The kids thought it was great too, because I didn't make them stay put and finish their lunch before they could run off and play. Instead I let them come and go as they pleased. They would run off (as long as they could still see me it was OK) and then when they remembered, they would run back for a few more bites of lunch.

Finally lunch was over, and we got everything packed up again and back into the stroller. Then we decided to wander a little and do a bit of exploring as we headed in the general direction of home. Much to my surprise and excitement, our hidden little park had a little exit path that came out into our very own neighborhood alley less than two blocks away from our house!

Anyway, now that it's really really late and past my bedtime by a few hours, I think I'll wrap this up and get some sleep. Tomorrow will be a busy day, but I didn't want to put off our Monday adventure for too long. That's how my neglected posts sadly join the archives of unfinished and barely stared posts that will either never be posted or if they ever are will be so old that they're of little or no interest anymore.

"Hi, Mommy! Can you take a picture of me?"

Friday, February 22, 2008

My Little Man @ 18 Months

December 31st, 2007

"My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways."
Proverbs 23:26

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Practice Makes P-p-p-p-perfect!

Last night as I tucked my kids into bed, Dolly asked for a drink. This is a common bedtime ritual, and I had expected it, so I had the sippy cup of water ready to hand out. While Dolly was drinking as slowly as she could manage and still be swallowing, PC decided to make his request known as well. "Gup!" he uttered. "'You want a drink PC?" I asked. He nodded and repeated himself a little more clearly. "Cup... CUp, CUP!" he said. "Ok, you can say your verse while you wait for Dolly,." I told him. I was thinking that if he wanted to be so precise with his words, it would be a great time to get him to practice his Sunday school verse. This is how it went:

"K, PC, Say your verse. Suffer,"
"No,.. Suffer,"
"PC, say 'to,'"
"PC, say, 'Mark,"
"Good job! Here's your water... now go to sleep.


"Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
Mark 10:14

Monday, February 18, 2008

Laziness Perhaps...

This is what Dolly got for her birthday from Chasm's Lady. They're reusable upper and lower case letter stickers! Sir laughed at me since he was almost convinced that I loved these letters more than Dolly does.... maybe we love them the same? That's ok isn't it?

Today Dolly and I put the alphabet pairs up on her bedroom wall, but as you can see from the picture, there are a few extra letters. Since I'm working on teaching Dolly to read, I wanted to just make up a few words to stick on the sticker-less wall for Dolly to practice sight-reading/memorizing. But, I'm too lazy to think up all the combinations... that and I get too carried away and end up with far too complicated words. 'Battle' and 'Lace' and 'Toil' and 'Runny' are not exactly words for a 3 year old to begin with!

So, what words would you create with the letters:
A - C - E - E - L - B - A - T - T - I - L - N - O - R - R - N - S - S - U - I - Y ?

On my first try, I came up with our surname, BALL, LOT, RUIN and TREES. And I didn't have any leftover letters! Although, 'ruin' might be a little too advanced for someone who's barely mastered the capitalized alphabet, and our Hungarian surname is almost always mis-read by nearly eveyone who sees it for the first time!

Anyway, I think I'll post this for everyone else to think about, while I go take my nap before my kids wake up! Have fun!

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Tonight as we got out of the van after the drive home from meeting, the kids noticed the moon and stars. Often we don't see celestial objects due to the amount of clouds that seem to be always present. PC was the one who spotted the moon first and announced its presence with a loud, "Dat!" "Yes, PC," I responded, "I see the moon too!" Then Dolly piped up with, "And the stars also!"

Since she'd only gotten an 'Um hm,' as a response from me, Dolly continued the conversation as we slowly made our way to the house with, "God made the moon." to which I replied with, "Yes, Dolly He did." "How did he make the moon, Mommy?" she asked. "Well," I started, "He just said, 'Let there be light' and it was light." "Um hm," Dolly agreed "And He made the stars also." "Yep, He did. - PC! go UP the stairs!" I distractedly replied.

Still not satisfied with leaving the conversation there, Dolly asked, "Mommy, what are the stars doing?" "They're just shining, Dolly." I said as I nudged PC into the yard and closed the gate. "And the stars are also-ing!" She said matter-of-factly. "...Are the stars also-ing, Mommy?" I laughed as I realized she was thinking of the memory verse she had learned last year for the Sunday School Treat:

"He made the stars also"
Genesis 1:16.

And then the conversation changed as we started discussing the meaning and uses of the word 'also' while we proceeded to progress toward the house.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Pictures of Baby Love

"Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."
1 John 4:11

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Walk Down Memory Lane

When I was at the meeting room cleaning yesterday, I decided to go through a box of stuff that was up for grabs. There was an old Bible Story coloring book in there, with a few untouched pictures left in it. The pages were all loose, so I only took the four that I wanted and then got back to work. This morning my kids discovered the coloring pages that I'd brought home, and wanted to color, so I photocopied the fragile originals and gave each kid a copy to color at the coffee table.

Watching them color (and fight over the crayons), whisked me back 20 years to when I was coloring similar pictures....

I remembered Aunt Helen, my Sunday school teacher, pointing at a felt board with a little metal pointer as she taught us the story illustrated upon it and how she let us put the little felt pictures on the felt board when it was time to add them. Then my mind jumped to the end of class where we'd all eagerly wait our turn to receive a Graham cracker and a Dixie cup of milk. Aunt Helen always gave us a Graham cracker and milk after class. She'd bring the milk in a mayonnaise jar and to our (well, at least my) relief, there was always just enough milk to go around. After all, you just can't eat a Graham cracker without milk right? At least when you're between 5 and 10 years old, you can't.

As I carefully arranged my props to photograph, my mind kept churning away, and I remembered that I had some old pictures that would be worth looking through. Sure enough, I found a few pictures and among them was actually a shot of the legendary Graham crackers and Milk - or at least the mayonnaise jar the milk had been in.
Since I took a picture of a bunch of photos, it's definitely not the best quality, but there's a picture that I took of my family and a babysitter when I was 6 years old (left). Uncle Art and some of the kids in the back of his truck one Sunday visiting 'Good Dog' after meeting (center left). I'm guessing that picture was taken about six years later since that's my brother in the left of the picture and he looks about 6 years old there. My mom was pregnant with him in the family shot. That's me in the overalls around 7 or 8 years old (center). Some of the Sunday school kids about when I was 10 years old (center right) - that's my middle sister on the right. And finally, on the far right is Aunt Helen cleaning up the Graham crackers and milk after class.

Here's a closer look at some of them:

(left to right) Joel & Caleb Varney, Valerie R., Abbie C. & Ginny

Aunt Helen, Graham crackers, a Dixie cup and the empty mayonnaise jar.

Well, I need go go. It's taken me all day to get this posted and now it's time to get my kids ready to go to prayer meeting tonight. Sir's on his way home to pick us up and I need to be ready when he gets here!

Friday, February 08, 2008


I'm almost in shock. I got to take at least a 20 minute shower this morning (which means I was able to wash my hair) with the bathroom door closed! Even better, not one single child was banging or screaming at the door, or standing guard on the bath mat supervising my hygienic procedures, the entire time. Talk about LUXURY!

It was so nice, that I was certain I was going to be greeted with disaster upon disaster when I got out, and so I hurried as fast as I could without panicking. I had put Emma down for her morning nap, but she wasn't asleep when I hopped in the shower, so I had visions of her screaming herself hoarse in her room until the other kids came to her rescue, climbing into her crib with her where they'd roll all over her in sympathy - much to her distress. Then when I never heard her crying over the noise of the shower, I was sure that the other kids must be up to something.

Usually I can't even get into the shower without assistance, but this time it was almost like no one even noticed that the bathroom door was closed. Nobody banged on the door, or screamed outside in the hallway. No one even let themselves in so they could stand between the shower curtains and play tag with the water spray. When I still hadn't heard any screams of argument or antagonism, my imagination took off at full speed again.

I could just see my nightstand table being cleared... the chapsticks devoured, water bottle spilt all over and my books scattered with pages torn out. I could picture the stack of miscellaneous keepsake papers on the dining room table that I was sorting to be filed, strewn all over the living room floor and shredded in the process. There was the sky-high pile of dishes on the dishwasher in the kitchen just begging to have some little person pull the spoon out, on which everything was balancing. And of course, there was my desk - with the unguarded computer and piles of paper mixed with all sorts of fun off-limit things just calling the names of my children.

But as I emerged from the bathroom into the silent house, I scanned each room and looked for some distress. To my surprise and near shock, nothing seemed out of place or destroyed, and I found Dolly and PC in the living room chair happily playing together with a few armloads of toys! So, I just had to take a picture and write up a quick post before I got on with the day.